Hello Universe! J.J.’s Corner is a Power and Grace blog bringing you topics from the sports side of functional fitness and weightlifting. This is purely an opinion piece by me, J.J.
FRONING V FRASER
In the functional fitness world, this pairing as sparked much debate. In fact, CrossFit HQ itself has egged this notion on, asking Dan Bailey in a video if Fraser was the best ever, knowing Bailey’s relationship with Froning would lead to another answer.
The sports world loves to spawn these “Who’s The Greatest” debates. Lebron v Jordan. Tyson v Ali. Tiger v Jack. The list goes on. The idea is fun to kick around and makes for great water cooler chat (or better yet barstool talk), but is it really decidable?
The first shot fired is typically any head-to-heads that have occurred. Over the last few years Froning and Fraser have met a couple times such as in the Open, with Fraser being the victor lately. However, for the full “Who’s The Greatest” debate, both athletes have to be considered to be in their prime. I argue that Froning was not training nearly as hard and wasn’t nearly as fit as he was as an individual competitor. They did meet in a head-to-head at the 2014 CrossFit Games as well. This time I believe the prime argument goes in favor of Fraser, who is clearly more fit than he was then.
Usually one side will point out the numbers next. Stats are an easy go-to when comparing athletes. Fraser’s numbers at the 2016 Games were simply astounding but in a sport where each year the events are completely different there are some holes in the argument. Besides, that was one event. No one points to Jordan Speith’s incredible 2015 Masters Championship and says he’s the best ever.
On a side note, I think margin of victory is the dumbest stat to be argued. That could just as easily mean worse competition as is does a better champion. A win is a win. How many points did the Patriots win by in their Super Bowls? Nobody cares. They won.
This is usually where the other side points to “it was a different game” and that completely works in Froning’s case. The sport is so ever changing that the 2012 Games hardly look like what we watched last year. That being said, there’s no doubt the Games are now a harder test.
So who is the Fittest of All-Time? Rich Froning. Fraser is facing the same feat as Lebron as he is compared to Jordan. The further away from Jordan’s (and Froning’s) career was get, the more the myth grows (It doesn’t help that Rich is continuing to win team titles in retirement). Lebron has made it to about 1000 straight Finals and has plenty of hardware for his trophy room but he’s still not Jordan. It’s probably not fair to Lebron (or Fraser) but Jordan beat the Monstars for crying out loud!
If Fraser hauls off and wins 4 more straight titles, I’ll write my “Remember Rich Froning?” blog post. Until then, to be the man you’ve got to beat the man, even if it’s a ghost.